Why are you really losing sales opportunities? A buyers' perspective on the determinants of key account sales failures

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James S. Boles, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Key account sales are important for business organizations. Understanding why some of these sales proposals fail from the buyer's perspective has organization-wide implications for improving firm performance. Extant literature lacks a clear understanding of the process-based determinants of sales failure within a key account context. Another problem with this research stream is its reliance on data from the salesperson, sales manager, and/or selling firm, which can introduce attribution biases. Our research overcomes sales failure attribution biases by collecting data from the industrial buying center's perspective. Thirty-five semi-structured interview cases were conducted with buying decision makers following failed key account sales proposals. The result of this inquiry is a model which outlines the determinants of sales failures. We identify three common drivers of sales failure: adaptability, relationship-potential, and cost considerations. Results indicate that these established constructs are more complex than previously specified, each having multiple attributes as defined by key account buyers.

Additional Information

Industrial Marketing Management, 43(7), 1124-1135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2014.06.002
Language: English
Date: 2014
sales failure, key account management, qualitative research, sales performance

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